Wearing a Seat Belt Could Protect a Life

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

SHENANDOAH COUNTY -- Christopher Dickson, 34, Mt. Jackson, is dead after he ran his car off the road, hit a sign and crashed into a tree Sunday afternoon. Virginia State Police said he was not wearing a seat belt at the time.

The entire crash happened in Berlin Allen's front yard.

"You can buy a new vehicle but you can't never get another life," said Allen.

Allen described what it was like to have the crash happen in his front yard.

"I thought we had another earthquake, but then I ran out here and I saw the gentleman laying on his vehicle."

Allen said he was surprised Dickson wasn't wearing a seat belt.

"If you go a short distance or a far distance you should have your seat belt all the time."

Allen is one of the 76 percent of drivers in rural areas who buckled their seat belts in 2011. This is compared to 82 percent of drivers statewide.

A report shows 1,600 traffic deaths from 2007 to 2012 could have been prevented with seat belts.

Nancy Marsh said she doesn't always wear her seat belt, but she's working on it.

"It's uncomfortable. I'm just going a mile down the road or whatever," said Marsh.

Virginia State Police recommends drivers and passengers to buckle their seat belt before driving anywhere. VSP says wearing a seat belt could prevent passengers and drivers from being ejected out of the windshield.

Virginia State Trooper Donald Dean said people can save their lives with just one click.

“Seat belts help you keep control of the vehicle. You're stuck on one spot instead of going through a windshield or the steering wheel,” said Trooper Dean.

He said he sees more people on rural areas without seat belts than the interstate.

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